Success Factors for Implementing Change Management
considering smart grid technology recognize that implementation depends
on the successful integration of new technologies with legacy system
infrastructure. But it also depends on human dynamics, which are
essential to effective change management.
This article highlights the Autovation Change Management Education Session from Wednesday, Sept 28.
Implementing a Program Management Office for What’s Beyond the Smart Grid
- Shawn McDonough, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative
- Tom Kerestes, West Monroe Partners
- Kathy Cowan Sahadath, Hydro One Networks, Inc.
- Deb Bradbury, Enspiria Solutions
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) is the ninth largest cooperative
in the U.S., serving 22 Virginia counties. West Monroe Partners is a
full-service business and technology consulting firm working in strategy
and execution. West Monroe Partners provided project management
solutions to REC as it implemented smart grid technology. The utility
and consulting company partnered to oversee strategic development with
projects, but executives recognized more was needed including:
Utilities typically implement Program Management Offices (PMO) focused
on IT activities. Under the Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) funding,
REC created a PMO to:
- Coordination and management of projects
- Formalized project management and prioritization process for all major projects to properly manage resources and investments
- Business process improvement for business transformation activities resulting from REC’s smart grid implementation
By designing the PMO for use beyond the initial three-five year
Department of Energy (DOE) SGIG funding period, REC planned to maximize
capital investment. Kerestes described the best practices of a PMO:
- Monitor progress of multiple projects
- Enable cross-functional team collaboration
- Centralize specific financial and operational reporting requirements
Some problems may arise with change management, business process
redesign and quality assurance. The top obstacle to successful change
management is employee resistance. But the “number one success factor to
implementing change management is strong sponsorship with an
organization,” said Kerestes.
- Time management
- Resource management
- Risk and issue management
- Scope and change management
- Communication management
- Quality management
- Integration management
- Cost management
Some of the questions you should ask:
All suggestions come into the PMO for review and analysis based upon
strategically established filters. Projects are then grouped into
categories based on whether or not they move forward, and how the PMO
will treat them.
- What are the requirement specifications for this project and does everyone know what they are?
- What should a quality assurance plan look like for this project?
- How do we know that we’ve managed this project to ensure a quality product is delivered?
Change Management Enables Smart Grid Innovation
Hydro One, a utility that delivers electricity to 1.3 million customers
across Ontario, is utilizing change management strategies to foster an
environment of innovation. Hydro One’s Advanced Distribution Project
(ADS) is one of several initiatives to sustain and modernize Ontario’s
electricity grid. It is driven partially by the Ontario Green Energy
Act, which mandates the connection of more renewable energy sources.
Hydro One’s ADS project is a multi-year initiative to analyze, identify
and deploy applications, equipment and new processes to better serve
their customers with the following business objectives:
Working with IBM Canada, GE Canada, Telvent Canada and Enspiria
Solutions Advisors, Hydro One prepared a project schedule and identified
the implementation challenges:
- Optimize connection of Distributed Generators
- Improve distribution reliability and operations
- Optimize outage restoration
- Optimize network asset planning
To tackle these challenges, a thorough change management strategy was
established to provide a shared vision of the future. Through community
and training activities, ADS awareness established a network of change
leadership, delivering the “right messages to the right people at the
- Utilizing new tools, technology and business process to make better business decisions
- Staging a complex implementation
- Managing an aggressive schedule
- Securing resources needed for multi-disciplines
- Managing impact to lines of business
- Communicating effectively
- Coordinating 10 project work streams working in parallel
- Realizing business transformation
The team is working toward success by maintaining active and visible
executive sponsorship, facilitating frequent and open communications,
monitoring performance and leveraging best practices and lessons
Attention utility professionals: please share your change management
experiences (challenges and successes) with your peers. There are
several ways you can do this:
We look forward to hearing from you!
- Submit an abstract for Autovation 2012, Sept. 30-Oct. 3 in Long Beach, Calif. The Call for Speakers deadline is Jan. 13, 2012.
- Provide a byline article for News Link or agree to be
interviewed by News Link staff for an article. Or, submit a blog post.
Contact Janice Greenberg.
- Consider hosting a regional learning lab or participating in a webcast. Contact Debby Scheck.
- Start a discussion on the Utilimetrics LinkedIn Group.